It’s not long now until thousands upon thousands of anxious young adults and teenagers all over the UK (and elsewhere) will get their long awaited A Level and GCSE results and as many parents are finding out the wait is proving to be quite a trial with what, for some, has so much hanging on the back of them. So what’s the best way to approach the countdown to the big day on Thursday! With nerves apparently kicking in, heart rates starting to rack up a gear and palms starting to sweat a little more than normal, maybe even tempers starting to fray at the edges, taking the time to strategize and time out to perceive the altitude view may just pay tremendous dividends in the longer term.
In particular the A Level results can have so much riding on the back of them! For many two years (and in some instances longer) will culminate on Thursday this week with decisive impact paving either a smooth path forward with the successes that many will be pinning their hopes on or opening a huge void of unanswered questions and a certain amount of uncertainty which might have the propensity to illicit feelings of instability and insecurity even further. Helping young adults and teenagers deal with anxiety at the best of times is a tentative affair but when it comes to matching it with their future the stakes, to many, somehow seem a little higher. Having a calm and perceptive approach therefore maintains equilibrium and helps keep the perspective and emotional stability that is necessary in the build-up to this and other events that are deemed to carry weight.
Suggestions to handle the next few days therefore start now:
Firstly, ensure that your student knows exactly what they need to know for Thursday morning and are prepared. UCAS offer excellent advice on-line and it is worth brushing up on the final details now so that ID’s are at hand, usernames are to the ready and passwords are known. Last minute rushing around on the day only adds to the stress and will cause problems.
Secondly, retrieve any paperwork now. Make sure the university offers are clear in everyone’s mind if this is the route that is hoped for on Thursday morning. If it’s not university, and something else hinges on results ensure that everything is clear as crystal now and isn’t left until the early hours of Thursday morning or late Wednesday evening when panic might ensue if documents can’t be found and as already said passwords, usernames etc can’t be retrieved. Check the UCAS results page to ensure that all exam results that are known are up-to-date!!! This is important especially if you are relying on the points these results grant for your place!! If, for instance, music exams and other external exams don’t show up on this page, alert universities now – you might need to send copies of certificates directly to them quickly. They will advise you so call the university admissions offices and ask if any results are missing from your UCAS results.
Thirdly, ensure that online access is going to available on Thursday morning if this is needed. UCAS reveals university places THAT have been alerted to them at 8.00 am on Thursday ONLINE so know now how you are going to access them.
Fourthly, how are A Level results going to be collected. Has the school/college informed you when they will be open for result collection and what, if anything, does your student need to take with them. If, for any reason, the student cannot collect their own results have they ensured that permission has been given to the school/college for someone else to pick up results for them (if this is what they want). It is unlikely that results will be handed out without this permission. Ideally each student, especially those that hope to move onto university, need to be available on results day to deal with their offers.
Fifthly, are you aware that clearing places will be advertised in The Telegraph newspaper according to a recent UCAS publication. If you think you will be entering clearing ensure you have change available in advance to buy the paper for this purpose.
Next, if there is anything you are at all unsure about talk or e-mail your school/college now, talk to UCAS or check out their website and check out all the information you have to hand. The key is to be informed. Information is choice. To have clear choices and clear information will save precious time on Thursday morning too and could be the difference between a place at university and not in September for those that have to enter clearing.
So finally, be very very clear what your options are. Have a plan A and a plan B. Plan A being the path you hope to follow if those results come is as planned but plan B being the path you would like to follow if maybe the results throw a curved ball! Remember what many call “failure” could end up being your biggest success if, and only IF, you face it square on, deal with it and say OK, maybe I’m not going on the ‘trip’ or route, say to university this year) but I sure am still going on that road trip and it’s going to be just as thrilling even if it’s not the one I originally planned. Then focus, be determined, re-motivated and you will get there. Destinations are inevitable, even if they vary – it’s just the way we get there that alters but who’s to say that one journey is any better than the next?
Remember that and you will always see the silver lining in any cloud although obviously in our hearts I appreciate we always hope for a sunny day. Until Thursday then, check through the list and then get out there and enjoy the next few days. Worry achieves nothing, so be prepared and have fun until then!